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Consciousness and rebirth

AlexAlex UK Veteran

That consciousness that you have now.

That sees these words. Through those eyes.

Smells that food cooking.

Hears that gorgeous overture.

What happens to it after death ?

Oblivion ?

Transference to another entity ?

Comments

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 27

    Consciousness is awareness. It's a subtle form of energy. When we relinquish our last breath, we are unaware, and the consciousness is not active.
    So Consciousness is Energy.
    Which is neither created, nor destroyed.
    I cannot stipulate exactly where it goes. But I have the theory or personal perception, that a little fragment of my energy once manifested in Napoleon... and Ptolemy. And maybe, even Hitler... Show me I am wrong...?

    Alexlobster
  • AlexAlex UK Veteran
    edited March 27

    Thanks @federica I spend more time than is healthy thinking about this stuff 👍

  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    Alexlobster
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    Is the consciousness that sees out the window the same as sees the back of my hand? If the object of consciousness changes is the consciousness the same?

    Is the consciousness that looks out the window today the same one that looked out yesterday? And will look outside tomorrow? The same one that was a toddler?

    AlexlobsterRen_in_black
  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    Besides that, I’m a bit of a fan of the theory of consciousness as something we receive. Think of the brain as a television set, and consciousness as the signal. So it kinda is eternal.

    Another idea I’m fond of is recycling. You see it everywhere in nature, everything gets recycled. Why not our minds when we die? Kind of a repurposing of the thinking part.

    AlexRen_in_black
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Kerome, I'm looking forward to that film!!

    Alex
  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran
    edited March 28

    @Alex said:
    That consciousness that you have now.

    That sees these words. Through those eyes.

    Smells that food cooking.

    Hears that gorgeous overture.

    What happens to it after death ?

    Oblivion ?

    Transference to another entity ?

    "I Am" under the impression....(Well a theory "I" can't quite prove)

    Nothing happens to consciousness itself, it from what I gather is ever flowing/ever present.... However the bundle of energy flux held together by karmic glue AKA the psycho-physical phenomenon called me & you (the self)...ceases to exist in its present form...Ashes to ashes dust to dust, into accumulated karma we are thrust...

    When conditions are right, the karmic energy pattern/s (imprint/s) transfers itself to another suitable bundle of developing energy flux, imprinting itself onto a new form which is ripe for the picking so to speak...

    The ever present consciousness picks up where it left off, only this time it fires up the "I" (karmic warts and all) in a slightly different form (according to accumulated karma)...And a presto "I Am" here (be it in a new form)...along with six new sense doors/portholes which consciousness operates through...

    However... even though I Am not quite the same as the previous I Am..."I" tend to share some of the same ignorant traits as the old "I" ... old accumulated habits die hard....

    AlexコチシカRen_in_black
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Jeffrey said:
    Is the consciousness that sees out the window the same as sees the back of my hand? If the object of consciousness changes is the consciousness the same?

    How to see things as they really are. If you use an aware Consciousness, I would say yes. If your awareness is polluted by perception and bias, I would say, no.

    Is the consciousness that looks out the window today the same one that looked out yesterday? And will look outside tomorrow? The same one that was a toddler?

    No. It's like the clouds...
    It also depends how influenced Consciousness is affected by Mindfulness... If the effect is great, possibly. If one is not Mindful, then, no.

    Alex
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Shoshin1 said:

    @Alex said:
    That consciousness that you have now.

    That sees these words. Through those eyes.

    Smells that food cooking.

    Hears that gorgeous overture.

    What happens to it after death ?

    Oblivion ?

    Transference to another entity ?

    "I Am" under the impression....(Well a theory "I" can't quite prove)

    Nothing happens to consciousness itself, it from what I gather is ever flowing/ever present.... However the bundle of energy flux held together by karmic glue AKA the psycho-physical phenomenon called me & you (the self)...ceases to exist in its present form...Ashes to ashes dust to dust, into accumulated karma we are thrust...

    When conditions are right, the karmic energy pattern/s (imprint/s) transfers itself to another suitable bundle of developing energy flux, imprinting itself onto a new form which is ripe for the picking so to speak...

    The ever present consciousness picks up where it left off, only this time it fires up the "I" (karmic warts and all) in a slightly different form (according to accumulated karma)...And a presto "I Am" here (be it in a new form)...along with six new sense doors/portholes which consciousness operates through...

    However... even though I Am not quite the same as the previous I Am..."I" tend to share some of the same ignorant traits as the old "I" ... old accumulated habits die hard....

    This is why I have heard it said that the most vital moment of your Life, is the moment of your Death.

    Who Are You, And Where Are You Going?

    Alex
  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    @federica said:
    @Kerome, I'm looking forward to that film!!

    It’s out now... you can see it on Disney+ or buy it on iTunes. I saw it the other day, it’s really good.

    Alex
  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran

    @federica said:

    This is why I have heard it said that the most vital moment of your Life, is the moment of your Death.

    There's a Tibetan practice which involves consciousness at the moment of death
    One visualises consciousness leaving the body through the crown of the head
    Phowa practice

    Alexlobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Who Are You, And Where Are You Going?

    There I was waiting for a life form that asks these very questions.
    Too late I realised death is not the time to question.

    Now is. Who guessed?

    I iz alive (conscious) and I am gonna die. Tee Hee!

    コチシカ
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @federica said:
    Consciousness is awareness. It's a subtle form of energy. When we relinquish our last breath, we are unaware, and the consciousness is not active.
    So Consciousness is Energy.
    Which is neither created, nor destroyed.
    I cannot stipulate exactly where it goes. But I have the theory or personal perception, that a little fragment of my energy once manifested in Napoleon... and Ptolemy. And maybe, even Hitler... Show me I am wrong...?

    Hearing it like that makes me picture our planets hydrological system.

    Alex
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ..."Water, water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink..."

    ( 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.)

    AlexBunksコチシカ
  • AlexAlex UK Veteran

    @federica That’s such a great poem. Interestingly, I often take refuge in a bit of poetry :-

    • Coleridge
    • Wordsworth
    • Southey

    Yes, I’m a Lakes poet geek.

    Also :-

    • Rumi
    • Zen poets, specifically Chinese 4th century folks.
    • Haiku (Basho, Issa).

    Are you a poetry fan ?

  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran
    edited March 29

    I am, from time to time. Love a bit of Hakim Sanai, or Rumi, or Ikkyū. I love the sufi poets. But i like all kinds of eclectic poems, such as Seng’can’s Inscription on the Faith Mind, or Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet, which is almost poetry.

    I have once heard it said that all enlightened people are also poets, although not all poets are enlightened.

    Alex
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 29

    @Alex said:
    @federica That’s such a great poem. Interestingly, I often take refuge in a bit of poetry :-

    • Coleridge
    • Wordsworth
    • Southey

    Yes, I’m a Lakes poet geek.

    Also :-

    • Rumi
    • Zen poets, specifically Chinese 4th century folks.
    • Haiku (Basho, Issa).

    Are you a poetry fan ?

    Oh, the Romantics... Browning, and his wife Elizabeth Barrett, Kipling, Wordsworth, Shakespeare, Keats, Robert Frost, Lee Hunt...
    My favourite Poem is Home Thoughts From Abroad, which I first HEARD recited by my now sadly deceased ex-Mother-in-Law... She spoke it in a soft, lilting Hampshire accent, and it blew me away... so much so that I set to memorising it immediately, and I await the first of April every year to celebrate its existence...
    The first poem I ever voluntarily memorised was The Daffodils, by Wordsworth (his sister was also incredibly talented) and then Shakespeare's 'Winter'...
    And how can you ever fail to be charmed by -

    "Shall I compare thee to a Summer's Day?
    Thou art more lovely, and more temperate;
    Rough winds do shake the Darling Buds of May
    And Summer's lease hath all too short a date..
    Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
    And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
    And every fair from fair sometime declines,
    By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm'd;
    But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
    Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
    Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
    When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
    So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
    So long lives this, and this gives life to thee."

    I mean. Wow.

    Talk about off-topic. Apologies!

    AlexJeffreylobsterDavid
  • AlexAlex UK Veteran
    edited March 29

    @federica Beautiful. No apologies, there’s no off-topic ! It’s all absorption.....have you noticed how the poems often embody mindfulness in their inner observations and those of nature ?

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @federica said:
    ..."Water, water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink..."

    ( 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.)

    Iron Maiden also put together a wonderful interpretation of it (if that's your kind of thing!)

    Alex
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited March 30

    @Alex said:
    @federica Beautiful. No apologies, there’s no off-topic ! It’s all absorption.....have you noticed how the poems often embody mindfulness in their inner observations and those of nature ?

    Yes. I would say an awful lot of Poetry verbalises the Poet's own musings and focus, or concentration on an aspect of life... it brings you at one with him - or her - and they're sharing their moment of clarity with you...

    The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
    The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
    The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
    And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

    Such evocative lines put you at once in the exact place Gray is standing to observe the evening's conclusion... you can almost feel the effort of the ploughman's gait...

    Have you read Abou Ben Adhem and the Angel? Goodness, it gives me goosebumps every time...

    Alexコチシカ
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Bunks, I shall give it a listen later today... my hearing isn't what it should be... Iron maiden ain't exactly Chamber Music...

    AlexKeromeBunks
  • AlexAlex UK Veteran

    @federica I did not know Abou Ben Adhem, thank you for bringing that into my life, very beautiful 🙏🏻

    federica
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Bunks said:

    @federica said:
    ..."Water, water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink..."

    ( 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.)

    Iron Maiden also put together a wonderful interpretation of it (if that's your kind of thing!)

    Well that was most..."interesting"... Coleridge I am sure, would have enjoyed it... maybe for all the wrong reasons. Or possibly, the right ones...

    As is well known, Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an opium addict. He took opium in the form of laudanum, that is to say tincture of opium in alcohol, which he drank by the pint.

    AlexBunksRen_in_black
  • ScottPenScottPen Maryland Veteran

    Consciousness is an experience. It's a state of being that requires a set of conditions in order for it to exist.

    What happens to it after death?

    Just as with all other experiences, when the conditions required to bring it about are no longer present, it no longer exists.

    The products of consciousness will continue forever in an infinite string of cause and effect.

    AlexlobsterRen_in_black
  • TozanTozan Turkey Explorer

    @federica said:
    Consciousness is awareness. It's a subtle form of energy. When we relinquish our last breath, we are unaware, and the consciousness is not active.
    So Consciousness is Energy.
    Which is neither created, nor destroyed.
    I cannot stipulate exactly where it goes. But I have the theory or personal perception, that a little fragment of my energy once manifested in Napoleon... and Ptolemy. And maybe, even Hitler... Show me I am wrong...?

    In accordance to three dharma seal everything must be impermanent so I think that energy must be impermanent too.

    lobster
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Tozan said:

    @federica said:
    Consciousness is awareness. It's a subtle form of energy. When we relinquish our last breath, we are unaware, and the consciousness is not active.
    So Consciousness is Energy.
    Which is neither created, nor destroyed.
    I cannot stipulate exactly where it goes. But I have the theory or personal perception, that a little fragment of my energy once manifested in Napoleon... and Ptolemy. And maybe, even Hitler... Show me I am wrong...?

    In accordance to three dharma seal everything must be impermanent so I think that energy must be impermanent too.

    You 'think'...? Have you anything scientific to back that up with? HHDL said that if anything in Science were to contradict an aspect of Buddhism, then Buddhism would have to change its stance.
    Energy is a scientific aspect of Physics. Newton stated that Energy is neither created nor destroyed.

    If you have something concrete to show "it ain't so", I think pretty much every physics expert would like to see it...

  • TozanTozan Turkey Explorer

    @federica said:

    @Tozan said:

    @federica said:
    Consciousness is awareness. It's a subtle form of energy. When we relinquish our last breath, we are unaware, and the consciousness is not active.
    So Consciousness is Energy.
    Which is neither created, nor destroyed.
    I cannot stipulate exactly where it goes. But I have the theory or personal perception, that a little fragment of my energy once manifested in Napoleon... and Ptolemy. And maybe, even Hitler... Show me I am wrong...?

    In accordance to three dharma seal everything must be impermanent so I think that energy must be impermanent too.

    You 'think'...? Have you anything scientific to back that up with? HHDL said that if anything in Science were to contradict an aspect of Buddhism, then Buddhism would have to change its stance.
    Energy is a scientific aspect of Physics. Newton stated that Energy is neither created nor destroyed.

    If you have something concrete to show "it ain't so", I think pretty much every physics expert would like to see it...

    No, I don't have so much knowledge about physics. But I can elucidate myself that maybe a spesific appearance of the energy is impermanent.

  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    Perhaps you could say that energy is in a constant state of transformation.

    TozanShoshin1JeffreyDavid
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited April 27

    Some other phenomenon in science is like that. In chemistry (excluding nuclear chemistry aka nuclear bombs/reactors) atoms are preserved but how the atoms are bonded to each other is changed.

    So when a candle burns wax is liquified and then it runs up to the wick and is burned. The carbon and hydrogen atoms in the wax are bonded as a long chain of carbon atoms connected with each other and also bonded to this string of carbon are some hydroge atoms. At the wick a combustion reaction happens and the wax (long hydrocarbon) reacts with oxygen in the air. All of the atoms stay their same atom; Carbon stays carbon; oxygen stays oxygen; hydrogen stays hydrogen. But the way they are bonded changes and you go from a long wax hydrocarbon and oxygen gas and the products are carbon dioxide (the fate of the carbon atoms from the wax and some of the oxygen gas), and water vapor (the fate of the hydrogen atoms from the wax and some of the oxygen gas).

    Indeed the chemistry perspective I think is a great example of how a skhanda is by nature which 'skhanda' means bundle or heap is composed. It is part of form skhanda and it is a heap of composite stuff.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    The 4 seals
    All compounded things are impermanent
    All emotions are painful
    All phenomena are without inherent existence
    Nirvana is beyond extremes

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Dharma_Seals

    Tozan
  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Veteran

    I'm reminded of a Buddhist stanza

    "Transient alas; are all component things
    Subject are they to birth and then decay
    Having gained birth; to death the life flux swings
    Bliss truly dawns when unrest dies away !"

    lobsterコチシカ
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh) says the Three Dharna Seals are Impermanence, No-self and Nirvana and explains why in The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching chapters 4 and 5 and 18 and uses the Samyukta Agama as reference. He says that "to put suffering on the same level as impermanence and nonself is an error. Impermanence and nonself are "universal". They are a "mark" of all things. Suffering is not."

    Makes sense since it is our attachment to things that makes us suffer, not the things themselves.

    TozanBunks
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    I think there might be a difference between a limited perspective or perception and a perspective that is said to be definitive.

    From the perspective of realizing the first noble truth samsara does exist. Because at that time a person is suffering it seems quite rude to say "oh no you are not really suffering because samsara is a misperception". But then from the perspective of the third noble truth of cessation of suffering then at that time and perspective it appears samsara does not exist or at least is not manifest.

    David
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited May 10

    @Jeffrey said:

    From the perspective of realizing the first noble truth samsara does exist. Because at that time a person is suffering it seems quite rude to say "oh no you are not really suffering because samsara is a misperception". But then from the perspective of the third noble truth of cessation of suffering then at that time and perspective it appears samsara does not exist or at least is not manifest.

    It isn't that suffering isn't happening, it's that suffering has a cause and so is not inherent to things like impermanence, nonself and nirvana are. Because we misunderstand, we suffer. It isn't that samsara doesn't happen, it is that samsara is a way of perceiving nirvana that bears negative fruit. In that note, I think that nirvana is a way of perceiving samsara that bears positive fruit.

    1st Noble Truth is that there is suffering but the 2nd Noble Truth is that suffering has a cause which is a good thing. The 3rd Noble Truth is that if suffering has a cause then conditions giving rise to suffering can be changed.

    So if we have suffering as a dharma seal, we negate the 2nd and 3rd Noble Truths and reduce the 4th as simply a way of coping rather than transformative training.

    By using nirvana instead of suffering as the dharma seal we make the transformation accessable, the logical flow of the Noble Truths restored and the path leading to the cessation of suffering more clearly defined.

    Oh, that stinks. I've totally gone off topic.

    JeffreylobsterRen_in_black
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